Gardzienice Centre for Theatre PracticesMetamorphoses or a Golden Donkey
The Gardzienice Centre for Theatre Practices, was established in 1977 by its director Włodzimierz Staniewski. Gardzienice have premiered six performances, including ‘Gargantua and Pantagruel’ based on Rabelais, ‘Wizardry’ based on Mickiewicz’s ‘Dziady'( an ancient ceremony of calling forth the ghosts of the dead), ‘A Life of Protopop Avaakum’, ‘Carmina Burana’ and ‘Metamorphoses’ (premiered at Gardzienice’s Jubilee in 1997). The Centre runs an extensive educational program at the Theatre Academy launched in 1997. The students of the last year’s edition of the Academy are in charge of Off-Confrontations.
Dear Guests – writes Włodzimierz Staniewski in his commentary to ‘Metamorphoses’ – just like every project we realise (always, from the beginning) also this one has its source in music.Music is the origin and essence of each thing we call into being. Here, in this project, we changed our philosophy for the first time. We learnt music not from the living but from stones. From living stones.For the traces of this ancient Greek music nd (from the 5th century B.C. to the 2 century A.D) in many cases have survived carved in stones only. To sing from a stone is as if to sing a stone, giving evidence that it is at least as alive as nature.What we are inviting you to is, first of all, singing in ancient keys, ancient melodic lines with contemporary voices. It is all slightly transformed, for instance tempos, rhythms, dynamics… And perhaps it “nontransformed”, perhaps it follows organically the Spirit of the Epoch, for nobody is capable of reconstituting a line of life, rhythm of life. One can only follow one’s intuition. These songs are connected with the book to the philosophy of which we referred in our work. It is a book of the turning point in history when the old Gods, Dionysus and Apollo leave the scene and the New God, Jesus Christ, enters. The book was written by the great Apuleius of Madaura, who used to say about himself and his near and dear ‘We, the family of Plato, know what is ceremonial, joyful, holy, noble, heavenly…”